• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explore how Dickens mocks Mr Gradgrind and his world in the first three chapters of Hard Times.

Extracts from this document...


Explore how Dickens mocks Mr Gradgrind and his world in the first three chapters of Hard Times. Dickens mocks Mr Gradgrind through his speeches and his obsession with facts. Gradgrind is described as a "square wall of a forehead" this is showing how he needs everything to be perfect and ruled off, just like his house which is the same. "his eyes found commodious cellarage in two dark caves" dickens even uses this as a way to ridicule Gradgrind by say his eyes are spacious, where most people light up with enthusiasm and excitement but Gradgrind could not because he is just filled with facts and has had no imagination. In the second paragraph of the novel dickens keeps on saying "the emphasis was helped" he does this to show how ridiculous Gradgrind is when he keeps on insisting on facts. When Dickens is describing Gradgrinds hair he says "which bristled on the skirts of his bald head" Dickens has made the reader believe that he is full of facts and straight-ruled like his garden but his hair shows he is not by the way it bristles. ...read more.


Gradgrind looks over the audience for someone else to make Sissy look bad, he notices Bitzer in the same ray of light that he caught sight of Sissy in and pointed at him with his square finger. Gradgrind knew Bitzer by name and not number showing he must know through good, factual academic work. Gradgrind asked Bitzer for the definition of a horse and his reply was "Quadruped. Graminiverous. Forty teeth........" this was just the start of an extensive description of a horse. Bitzer got praised for this although he did not know what most words meant. This is showing how poor Gradgrinds idea of education was. Gradgrinds school room reflects a lot about his appearance being dull and his mind needing everything perfect. The school room is described a "plain, bear, monotonous, vault of a school room". This is showing how, everything must be ruled straight and have no curves or irregular lines, which could lead to the use of an imagination. The pupils are taught just facts because if they are taught to use their imagination they may not want to work in the factories or mills, putting Mr Gradgrind out of a job. ...read more.


Mr Choakumchild is portrayed exactly like Gradgrind in the school room so you can learn more about Gradgrind through him. "Had lately been turned, at the same time, in the same factory" is relating it back to the schools teaching the children to work in factories and how every thing is the same and regular. In the first three chapters everything has been regular from the school room to the house and back to Gradgrind. Choakumchild has learnt a lot of decrease and facts like Gradgrind. Dickens says "If he had only learnt a little less, how infinitely better he might have taught much more." Shows that even the teachers have not learnt what the facts meant but just what they are all to please Gradgrind. Dickens also implies that if Gradgrind had taken time to learn the meaning of the facts then he may have been a better person. All in all Dickens mainly mocks Gradgrind about his over use of facts; Gradgrind may do this to cover up his childhood. In his childhood he may like Bounderby, have had a tough life but unlike Bounderby, he is not proud of it but ashamed. By Jack Realey ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Hard Times section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Hard Times essays

  1. 'What are the reasons which Dickens gives for the hard times described in the ...

    In the Victorian society money meant power; the rich were getting richer and the poor were getting poorer. Mr Harthouse acts as a catalyst in bringing out Louisa's feelings. He was born into money which meant power. Like Mrs Sparsit and Bitzer, he makes hard times for other people.

  2. By the end of Book 1, Dickens's criticism of Gradgrind's utilitarian thinking is apparent. ...

    Louisa repeats "what does it matter" showing she feels so trapped and insignificant. At this comment, Mr Gradgrind "seemed to strike with some little discord on his ear," recognising that she's unhappy. He wants to comfort her and talk to her but once again, the barriers of his factual background are preventing him.

  1. 'How does Dickens present education in particular Gradgrind's philosophy of education in Hard Times?

    colour that if he were cut 'he would bleed white' Sissy being brought up with the circus has a wild and un-tamed imagination. The circus is not an appropriate place for students who receive Gradgrind's system of education, 'we don't want to hear about that here' it is seen to

  2. How does Dickens present his attitudes to education in the opening chapters of hard ...

    Also even her name is shown to be fanciful and "not a real name", 'Don't call yourself Sissy Call yourself Cecilia'. Sissy is portrayed to be from a vibrant background where she has many friends who allow her to develop her creativity and moral conscience.

  1. Hard times: how does Dickens use the first four chapters of "Hard Times" to ...

    Dickens also makes a point by contrasting Sissy Jupe and Bitzer. Sissy is described as a warm, emotional, energetic caring girl who is full of life and colour, when the sun shines on Sissy she looks so full of life but when the sun shines on Bitzer he looks so pale and invisible, so pale he would bleed white.

  2. Y10 English Literature Coursework

    Dickens uses powerful language and makes everything sound overboard when Gradgrind discovers it was Thomas and Louisa peeping through the hole at the circus. 'His family was thus disgraced.' Dickens describes it excessively because all they did is look at a circus.

  1. Look carefully at the opening chapters of Hard Times and explore Dickens attitude towards ...

    Square is a regular shape, and Dickens is describing him as a regular 'square' man, but with a mind over-powered by rationalism. Even more cleverly, by describing Gradgrind as square, he is suggesting that mathematics plays an important part in his life, which it does as facts revolve around numbers.

  2. How does Dickens write about Childhood In the Opening two chapters of Hard Times?

    of a schoolroom' the word 'vault' is a metaphor suggesting that the classroom is an empty space used for storage. There is no room for any decoration in the room, any more than there is room for imagination in the training of the scholars.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work